Kant's Justification of the Death Penalty Reconsidered

Kantian Review 15 (2):1-27 (2010)

Abstract

This paper argues that Immanuel Kant’s practical philosophy contains a coherent, albeit implicit, defense of the legitimacy of capital punishment, one that refutes the most important objections leveled against it. I first show that Kant is consistent in his application of the ius talionis. I then explain how Kant can respond to the claim that death penalty violates the inviolable right to life. To address the most significant objection – the claim that execution violates human dignity – I argue that motives of honor, as Kant conceives it, require a rational person to will her own execution, were she to commit murder.

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References found in this work

Creating the Kingdom of Ends.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
Creating the Kingdom of Ends.Allen W. Wood - 1998 - Philosophical Review 107 (4):607.
Creating the Kingdom of Ends.James Lenman - 1996 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 1 (4):487-488.

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Citations of this work

The Structure of Death Penalty Arguments.Matt Stichter - 2014 - Res Publica 20 (2):129-143.

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